The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has forced the South African deciduous fruit industry to present its annual awards digitally this year. “We decided to announce the winners in a press release and to hand over the awards during a virtual event that will replace the 45th gala evening,” said Jacques Jordaan, chairperson of the awards committee and CEO of the Canning Fruit Producers’ Association.
The deciduous fruit industry includes apples, pears, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums, prunes, cherries, table grapes and dried grapes. These fruit are mainly grown in the Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape.
“Earlier this year we almost cancelled the event. However, we felt that despite the COVID-19 outbreak, the industry as an essential service needs to acknowledge hard work, skills development, and community involvement. All of these factors contribute to a successful season,” Jordaan said.
List of award winners 2020
Three people received awards for outstanding performance working on deciduous fruit farms specifically and five for their direct and indirect contributions to the industry. Here are the winners:
- Specialist Agricultural Worker: Rudowaan Rayneil Isaacs.
- Advanced Agricultural Worker: Lance du Toit.
- New Generation Award: Dirk Louw.
- Research and Technology Award: Phyllis Burger and Andries Daniels.
- Industry Leader Award: Alexander ‘Boetie’ Kriel.
- Izethelo Media Award: Lizma van Zyl.
- Special Industry Award: Colleen Goosen.